HREFLang XML Results in 58% Increase in Traffic

Business Need:

The client approached Back Azimuth with a problem that they were not ranking well AND getting much traffic from their local markets assumed duplicate content or lack of indexation might be a problem. They put an interesting constraint on the project to not significantly cannibalize US and Global Site Traffic.

Project Goals:

Increase pages indexed in local markets
Increase organic search traffic to local markets
Ensure local page is ranking in local markets

Back Azimuth reviewed the 45 countries and found that most of the XML site maps were missing or outdated. New XML files were created for each country and loaded into HREFLang Builder. Using the Index Checker functionality found that globally 74% of the pages were not indexed in some cases over 90% were not indexed.


Since the implementation in March, all three business problems were solved and even stayed within the cannibalization constraints.

Local Market Traffic Increase – All markets experienced at least a 20% increase in organic traffic a 75% global increase.

The 8 critical markets collectively had a 58% increase.  All markets had an increase with the least of 21% (due to getting a large share already) up to 99% for South Africa and 86% for Australia.  This was over a 3 month period.

As a result of increased indexing there was no traffic cannibalization with both the global and US site traffic increasing 22% and 48% respectively.

Local Site Index Rates – All markets experienced a significant increase in the number of pages indexed and in total from only 26% to 98% indexed.